Lead with WHY

Have you ever wondered WHY you’re doing something? WHY you’re slaving over your job? WHY you’re in a relationship? WHY you’re playing the game of baseball?

In a previous post, I shared the moment when I found my WHY. It literally changed the way I experienced life.

And for this, I’m forever grateful.

Now I want to help you find your WHY to live a more fulfilling and meaningful life.

For starters, I’ll share with you my WHY: to help others. Every morning I wake up, I’m grateful to be alive, and then I ask myself, “How can I help someone today?” This helps me set the tone for the day. Every day has meaning and purpose. It wasn’t always this way. It was something I had to learn.

Many go through life mindlessly doing tasks. There is little to no personal attachment to the task itself. There is little meaning or purpose behind what you do. Have you ever stepped back and asked WHY you do what you do? Is it just for the money? Is there something deeper? Do you know WHY you slave through your work?

When I found my WHY, I realized that I didn’t teach hitting just for the money. The purpose of the thousands of hours spent working in the cage was driven by my WHY – to help someone. Simple as that. I found great joy in seeing a hitter walk into the cage at a low point in their career and then walk out feeling like they had received a new lease on life. To me, that’s what it was all about: impacting the lives of others in a positive manner. Isn’t that WHY we are on this Earth to begin with?

How Do I Find My WHY?

I’m not the expert on finding your WHY, I’ll leave that up to someone like Simon Sinek. But I will share a few methods that have worked for me.

I love to take walks. It’s therapeutic for me, not to mention it helps me exercise and keep me healthy. Walks help me empty my mind, sift through tough decisions and most importantly help me reflect on life.

As Soren Kierkegaard once said, “Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.” KW and Lollis at Nationals

During my walks, I was doing a lot of reflecting. I asked myself the same questions I asked you at the beginning on this post. WHY did I teach hitting? WHY did I wake up every day to go spend 6-10 hours in a cage? WHY did I drive and fly to all parts of the world to teach hitting to players and coaches?

During this time of reflection, I was doing a few little jobs on the side. I had a family to support at that time and even though the money was good being a hitting coach, I still was chasing the almighty dollar in hopes to support my family for years to come. I didn’t have the comfort of working for an MLB organization with pensions, etc so the only person who was going to take care of us in the future was me. I put a lot of pressure on myself to make sure my family would be taken care of.

During my walks, the most important question I asked myself was WHY was I doing these little side jobs?

The answers were powerful.

First, the side gigs were just ways to make money. I drifted through a job that I wasn’t invested in. It left me empty, unfulfilled, and worst of all, it pulled me away from the very family I tried to provide for. It doesn’t mean I didn’t work hard and give my best, but I didn’t have any personal connection with the jobs at the end of the day. I wasn’t excited to get out of bed to work these side jobs, thus the time spent was not fulfilling my WHY.

Second, I discovered I was a hitting coach because I wanted to help someone, not only with their swing but most importantly, with their life. I wanted to be a mentor – to guide them through the tough times on and off the field. I enjoyed inspiring others and baseball was the platform that enabled me to do those things. I was attacking each day with newfound purpose in everything I was doing. It was WHY I got out of bed every morning!

What Do You Want Your “dash” To Look Like?

When we die and are laid to rest, our tombstones all read the same. The year we are born, and the year we died, separated by a dash. It’s a simple little dash. Nothing fancy. Nothing big. This tiny mark of punctuation represents what we stand for, what or whom we impact, and ultimately what legacy we leave behind. What do you want your dash to look like?

I sent out a Morning Message recently:

Are you living your life in a way that is worth telling stories about?

Inspire someone today.

Love,

KW

Who will tell your story? Will your dash be filled with examples of how you lead and inspired people with your WHY? Will you have helped others find their WHY? Or will your dash represent how many hours you slaved at the office? How much money you had in your bank account? Or how many hits you had in your career?

Do you know WHY you do what you do? Take time to reflect because your WHY is intimate. It’s individual. It’s genuine. It’s a complete understanding of YOU. It’s filled with purpose. It’s clarity. It’s natural.

Fill your dash with your WHY. Life is too short to only tell someone else’s story.

Love,

KW


For more than a decade, Kevin Wilson has been one of the most respected hitting coaches in the game. He works behind the scenes as a private hitting consultant to some of the best hitters in Major League Baseball. In 2013, Kevin was the hitting coach for the USA Baseball 18U National Team. Team USA beat Japan for the Gold medal at the IBAF World Cup in Taichung, Taiwan.

He is the author of the Amazon #1 Best Seller The #GoodBatting Book and co-hosts a popular podcast, KWB Radio, that showcases unique conversations with the pros. If you want Kevin to speak at your next event or if you want take advantage of his popular 2-day KWB Experience for players and coaches, contact Kevin today!

Follow Kevin on twitter @KWBaseball and visit his website KWBaseball.com

Inspire Someone Today

In the fall of 2013, I was just coming off being a part of something far greater than myself, winning a gold medal with the USA Baseball 18U National Team, serving as the team’s hitting coach.

Flashback a little more than a year earlier, on May 1, 2012, my father and I were in the CCU unit of a hospital making the hardest decision of our lives – having to pull the plug on my mother, Susan, due to complications from a surgery that happened three weeks prior.

I remember standing in the outfield at Intercontinental Stadium in Taichung, Taiwan crying, not because we had won the Gold, but because the emotions were still raw from that day more than a year ago. Since her passing, I didn’t have time to stop and reflect on what my mother meant to me and how much she had done for me during her time on this earth. And during a moment where I should have been joyful, instead, I found myself being overwhelmed with emotions of another breed.

After the celebrations had ended we hopped on a plane back to the States. I had more than 14 hours to reflect on everything that had transpired and I began to realize that in my reflections, I had started to understand the meaning and purpose in my life.

For so many years I was rushing through life. Always chasing. Chasing a dream. Chasing a number. Chasing a life I had imagined for myself as far back as I could imagine. And at that moment when the person who brought me into this world was taken away too soon, I suddenly felt empty.

It was a feeling I didn’t want anyone else to experience.

I was fortunate to grow up in a home with a loving mother and father who were there for me the entire time. To say that I grew up without any support or help, would be a lie. I was looked after, supported, cared for and inspired. I was given my share dose of tough love, especially from my mother. But at the end of the day when a big piece of me was taken away, I was left to wonder how I was going to carry the torch.

Timing Is Everything

I’m a big believer in timing. If you trust the timing of your life, you will be aware of situations, people, and experiences and will be able to take advantage of their teachings and guidance.

I hate to say it, but the death of my mother couldn’t have come at a better time in my life.

In 2012, I was a successful private hitting coach in the Philadelphia area, helping hitters become better people first and players second. At that time it was a job helping me to pay the bills, but it also found me searching for more. When my mom passed away, I began to figure out what I had been searching for.

I remember reading a book called Start With Why by Simon Sinek and I found myself glued to his Ted Talk studying the greatest lesson I never intended to find. He challenged me to find my purpose and write down WHY I was doing what I was doing. As I was reading and watching, I couldn’t help but embrace the feeling that was coming over me. I wasn’t doing what I did for a paycheck anymore. It was much bigger than that.

I had found my WHY.

My WHY is to help others. Help others hit. Help others grow personally. Help others find their purpose. Help others find their WHY. I was able to tie in what I did in the cage to something greater than myself. I truly understood WHY I did what I did!

I was called to be a servant leader.

Discovering Leadership: sometimes the smallest act of kindness makes the biggest impact

After coming down off a high like I never experienced before, I began wondering how I could impact the lives of others in a positive manner. After taking many walks to think about it (something I enjoy to do not only with myself but players I work with), I decided to write.

At first, writing was in the form of a daily group email sent to 20 of my closest friends and coaches.

Here is an example of an email that went out to the group on 11/27/13:

“Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our greatest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light and not our darkness that frightens us.” – Mary Ann Williamson

Inspire someone today.

Love,
KW

I sent them out regularly. I wasn’t expecting anything in return. Each message had a purpose, and every one of them was meant to help me. But at the same time, I knew that if they helped me, there was someone else out there that could benefit from the message too. And if 20 people read it each day, maybe I could inspire and help at least one more person that day. It was beginning to fulfill my WHY in more ways than just a cage session.

This is how the Morning Message started to reach others outside of my circle of influence. Looking back, it’s powerful to think that when you lead with your WHY, others will begin to follow. They don’t necessarily follow you as a human being, rather, they attach themselves to your WHY and your message. They relate to your story. They have compassion for what you’re going through or went through in the past. They sense your genuineness, and understand you’re leading with your heart, and they want to join.

Today, that tiny act of kindness called, the Morning Message, impacts the lives of thousands ranging from Fortune 500 CEO’s all the way down to coaches, parents, and players.

At the end of 2013, I was benefiting from a new sense of purpose in my life, and I was finding new ways to inspire others and help them find their WHY. I woke up everyday with renewed energy because my WHY was starting to shine brightly and become my North Star.

How You React To A Situation Can Literally Change the Situation Itself

Just when you think you have it all going for you, life throws you a 3-1 breaking ball.

On February 11, 2014, I listened as the doctor said, “The tests have come back, and you have Leukemia.” What immediately followed was a piercing scream that resonated throughout the emergency room floor, and then silence fell all around me.

My instincts from my playing days kicked in. I switched gears and became laser focused. My heart beat went down, instead of up. I could feel my world slowing down instead of speeding up.

I asked the doctor if I could have a word with him. A sense of calm came over me as I slowly walked out of the hospital room and into the hallway to speak privately with the man who just had told us that my wife, Sarah, had been diagnosed with cancer at the age of 30.

Sarah needed me. She needed me to be calm. She needed me to be strong. And I needed her. I was in charge of navigating us through something we had never been through before…until that cold February morning on the 7th floor of the Rhoads building at the Hospital of The University of Pennsylvania.

It was a long and trying road, which included 34 straight days in the hospital, followed up by 115 chemo treatments, but my wife is a rock. She is one of the strongest people I know and how she handled everything was truly inspiring. I always tell the hitters I work with that how you react to a situation can literally change the situation itself. And our life in that hospital room is living proof of it. Today, I’m happy to report that since October 17, 2014, she has been in remission.

Becoming a Leader

You can always learn from any situation in your life. I certainly had a lot of teachable moments in the coming weeks after that eventful morning in the ER.

On your journey to becoming a leader, start by taking care of those you love. It’s about putting others first. It’s about being givers. Not takers.

There is more to life than how many followers you have on social media, or how many awards you have collected over the years. I could care less what your batting average was last year, or how many all-star teams you’ve made.

It’s about leading. Leading people. Leading hearts and leading souls. It’s about love. Loving others, even your enemies because life’s too short to carry grudges and jealousies. Others deserve our love, especially in the toughest of times.

To lead is to inspire. This concept is the foundation of my conversation with Joe Ferraro on Episode 43 of KWB Radio. If you haven’t listen to it yet, check it out here. And in order to inspire someone, it must come from the heart. It’s dipped in love with no ulterior motives attached.

I believe our purpose for being here on this earth is to impact the lives of others in a positive manner. You never know how what you say or what you write impacts another human being. Most times we never know because that person never shares with us how we positively impacted their life.

I encourage you to evaluate WHY you do what you do and find out what your purpose is on this earth.

We never know how long our stay on this earth will be. Every morning I wake up I sit on the side of my bed and say to myself, “I’m grateful to be alive and experience another day on this earth. Thank you, Lord. How can I help someone today?”

All it takes is five minutes to change someone’s life. How are you going to use your “5 minutes” today to inspire someone?

April 11, 2017

Your legacy isn’t your dream. Your greatest legacy is the next generation of dreamers your dream inspires.

Inspire someone today.

Love,
KW


For more than a decade, Kevin Wilson has been one of the most respected hitting coaches in the game. He works behind the scenes as a private hitting consultant to some of the best hitters in Major League Baseball. In 2013, Kevin was the hitting coach for the USA Baseball 18U National Team. Team USA beat Japan for the Gold medal at the IBAF World Cup in Taichung, Taiwan.

He is the author of the Amazon #1 Best Seller  The #GoodBatting Book and co-hosts a popular podcast, KWB Radio, that showcases unique conversations with the pros. If you want Kevin to speak at your next event or if you want take advantage of his popular 2-day KWB Experience for players and coaches, contact Kevin today!

Follow Kevin on twitter @KWBaseball and visit his website KWBaseball.com

Success and Life Are a Singular Game

Today’s ballplayer has grown up in a world of conformity. If they don’t conform to the rules of the travel program, they won’t play. If they don’t conform to the training techniques of the high school coach, they won’t play. If they don’t conform to the ways of #hittingtwitter, they feel like they may be left out and left behind.

I’m not suggesting to turn the tables upside down on baseball society. What I’m saying is that to be great, think about being original. Being natural. Being genuine. To experience being great at anything, you have to follow your own unique path to success.

You are in control of your own destiny. Being unique and learning how it translates into your everyday life is the essence of your journey.  It’s the key to your success both on and off the field.

Be An Original

At times we catch ourselves trying to conform and follow, rather than be original and lead. Society applauds those who conform.

From a young age, we are pressured to conform to what our school systems and coaches want us to do. Some of what we are taught at a young age are good practices and philosophies that last us a lifetime, but they also leave us with little wiggle room to think and develop on our own. There are fewer opportunities for imagination and creativity.

Many live for the external validations from our parents, coaches, teachers or peers. We compete in hopes that we receive validation from our coach. We live our life through the lens of someone else rather than being fitted for our own unique pair of glasses. We are externally programmed and driven and don’t know how to play the singular game.

Being Unique Is A Singles Game

What are you doing personally that will allow you to experience life and the game of baseball at its fullest?

You are 100% in competition against yourself. The biggest advocate of your life is you. Your biggest enemy is you as well. If you aren’t able to come to peace with who you are and find out WHY you do what you do, you rob yourself of the chance to live life through your own unique lens.

We don’t need external validation. We don’t need external progress. What we need is personal growth. We need to learn how we can be the best version of ourselves. We need to create then tell our own story, and not just the story someone else tells us. This is why I advocate that hitting is a conversation.

We only get one chance at the game of baseball and life, so how we take advantage of our short amount of time on this Earth will determine our outcomes.

The game of baseball is an individual sport within a team concept. In order for numbers 1-9 in the lineup to succeed as a team, each individual has to be the best version of themselves. Too many players worry about what the guy in front of them or behind them are doing and miss out on the opportunity to focus on the most important person in the lineup–themselves! If everyone on the team truly believes they are being the best version of themselves in that moment, then the end result is a team that is unbreakable from top to bottom. In other words, in order for the team to succeed each individual player needs to be selfish.

Creating Your Scorecard For Success

People will try and poke holes in your career on and off the field. People are always looking to find something about you in order to add to or subtract from their scorecard. Too many people waste time and effort trying to convince others how to think, act, play the way they do. They are scared by different. They are scared by originality. They don’t know how to react to someone being genuine. They discard the idea of being authentic because it threatens the very existence of their conformity.

We are constantly told to play a multiplayer competitive game, both in baseball and in life. But what if we were to remove ourselves from the masses and start playing the singular game?

When it seems like everyone else is keeping score and evaluating your every move, just remember that the only scorecard that really matters in life is the one you keep for yourself. Everyone will have their opinions and they are entitled to that. But they are just that – opinions. When you put your head on the pillow at night, be at peace knowing the game of life you’re playing doesn’t fit into everyone’s playbook.

Understand that life and baseball are played from the inside out.

All the real scorecards are internal.

Love,

KW


For more than a decade, Kevin Wilson has been one of the most respected hitting coaches in the game. He works behind the scenes as a private hitting consultant to some of the best hitters in Major League Baseball. In 2013, Kevin was the hitting coach for the USA Baseball 18U National Team. Team USA beat Japan for the Gold medal at the IBAF World Cup in Taichung, Taiwan.

He is the author of the Amazon #1 Best Seller  The #GoodBatting Book and co-hosts a podcast, KWB Radio, that showcases unique conversations with the pros. If you want Kevin to speak at your next event or if you want take advantage of his popular 2-day KWB Experience for players and coaches, contact Kevin today!

Follow Kevin on twitter @KWBaseball and visit his website KWBaseball.com

Kevin Wilson Presents at Blue Jays National Coaching Clinic in Toronto

The 2017 National Coaches Clinic took place February 10-12 at the Rogers Centre in Toronto and featured three days of presentations and on field sessions with the goal of providing coaches with tips and techniques to bring back to their local teams.

KW Speaking Toronto

Kevin Wilson spoke to coaches about the mental side of hitting and shared with them a few examples they could take home and immediately implement into their practices and games.

Click on the link to watch his presentation get a glimpse into what it’s like to work with KW! Kevin Wilson at the Rogers Centre

 

KWB Radio – Episode 45 “Teaching the Millennial”

EPISODE 45: TEACHING THE MILLENNIAL

Joe Ferraro @FerraroOnAir sits down with Kevin Wilson @KWBaseball to discuss what it’s like to teach today’s ballplayer. Joe digs deep to bring out the tricks that KW uses when teaching the modern hitter. It gets candid at times but if you’re truly looking to communicate better in order to get results on the field, this episode gives you that and much more!

Click here to listen to Episode 45!

Kevin Wilson Baseball

SHOW NOTES

Links Mentioned On The Podcast

Sign up to be inspired by Joey Jett! Text 81010 and enter @1better

The season is right around the corner! Grab a copy of The #GoodBatting Book.

Be The Best Clinic BeTheBest.com

 

Where to Find Joe and Kevin

Twitter @FerraroOnAir
Blog FerraroOnAir

Twitter @KWBaseball
Website KWBaseball.com

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Subscribe to KWB Radio on iTunes and Stitcher

Make sure you follow the show on Twitter at @KWBRadio